While Xbox reigns to work as a controller with Windows, there are plenty of PS4 owners who struggle to use their Dual Shock controller with Windows. There are two basic ways to connect a PS4 controller to a computer: wirelessly (via Bluetooth) or using a USB cable. If you are unable to play games using a PS4 controller because your computer fails to recognize it, you should check out the solutions detailed in this guide.
For USB connections, check that your computer’s USB port isn’t covered with dirt or debris. You should also do the same for the controller’s port. If there’s dirt present in either of the ports, you should blow dry air into it to get rid of them. You should also check that the USB cable you are using isn’t faulty or a counterfeit. Alternatively, you can update the Steam app on your Windows PC and plug your controller again.
And for users whose PC doesn’t detect their PS4 controllers via Bluetooth, the issue could be due to some Windows Bluetooth connectivity issues. The problem could also be driver-related. Try any of the troubleshooting tips listed below to get your Windows PC back to detecting your PS4 controller. Or use a Bluetooth USB adapter, if you have one.
1. Re-Enable Bluetooth
If you are unable to connect your PS4 controller to your Windows PC, you should disable your computer’s Bluetooth, turn it back on, and try to pair it to your device again. You can turn off Bluetooth from the Windows Action Center or from the Windows Settings menu.
Re-Enable Bluetooth from Action Center
Step 1: Tap the Action Center icon at the bottom-right corner of the taskbar to open the Action Center.
Quick Tip: You can also use the ‘Windows key + A’ keyboard shortcut to launch the Action Center.
If Bluetooth has a blue backdrop, that means it is enabled/active.
Step 2: Tap Bluetooth to display it.
Step 3: Tap Bluetooth again to re-enable it and check if your PC now detects the controller.
Re-Enable Bluetooth from Windows Settings
Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu and click Devices.
Step 2: In the ‘Bluetooth & other devices’ section, toggle off Bluetooth and toggle it back on.
Check if your computer now detects your PS4 controller. If this doesn’t do the trick, move to the next troubleshooting solution below.
2. Unpair / Remove Controller from PC
If the PS4 controller has been previously paired to your PC via Bluetooth but it’s no longer being detected, you should remove the controller from your PC’s list of previously-paired or connected devices. Afterward, reconnect the controller to your computer. Follow the steps below to get it done.
Step 1: Launch the Windows Settings menu and select Devices.
This should automatically land you on the ‘Bluetooth & other devices’ section.
Alternatively, you could right-click on Bluetooth from the Action Center and select ‘Go to Settings’.
This will redirect you to the ‘Bluetooth & other devices’ section of the Windows Settings menu.
Step 2: Locate the paired PS4 controller (labeled Wireless Controller) in the ‘Mouse, keyboard, & pen’ section and click on it.
Step 3: Tap Remove Device to unpair the controller from your computer.
Step 4: Tap Yes on the confirmation prompt to remove the controller from your PC.
Re-pair the controller to your computer and check if it detects it. Follow the steps outlined below to connect your PS4 controller to your Windows PC via Bluetooth.
How to Connect PS4 Controller to PC via Bluetooth
Step 1: First, put the PS4 Controller in pairing mode by holding the Share button and PS button simultaneously for about 5 seconds until the LED light blinks a blue light.
Step 2: Open the Bluetooth settings menu and tap ‘Add Bluetooth or other devices’.
Step 3: On the new window, select Bluetooth.
Make sure the PS4 controller is still in pairing mode. Your computer should now detect the controller. If it doesn’t, proceed to the next troubleshooting fix (Method #3). Otherwise, continue to Step #4 below.
Step 4: Next, select Wireless Controller.
Your computer should connect successfully to the controller.
3. Charge the Controller
If your PS4 controller’s battery is low, or the device is totally out of battery juice, your computer might not detect it. Plug your controller to a USB power source, charge for a couple of minutes to boost its battery level, and try to reconnect it to your computer.
4. Update Game Controller Drivers
On Windows PC, a PS4 controller (and other wireless controllers) is powered by three major drivers:
- Bluetooth HID Device
- HID-compliant game controller
- Bluetooth Wireless Controller
If your PC still doesn’t detect your PS4 controller, you should update these drivers. Follow the step below to get it done.
Step 1: Launch the Windows Quick Access menu (use the ‘Windows key + X’ shortcut) and select Device Manager.
Step 2: Tap the ‘Human Interface Devices’ drop-down button to reveal the ‘Bluetooth HID Device’ and ‘HID-complaint game controller’ drivers.
You’d find the Bluetooth Wireless Controller in the Bluetooth section.
Step 3: Right-click on the driver you want to update and select Update driver.
Step 4: Select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’.
Your computer would search or new versions of the driver and prompt you to install them on your computer. Follow the same steps to update all three drivers listed above—right-click and click on Update driver.
Finally, if you don’t want any such Bluetooth woes with your computer, then you can simply buy the official Sony DUALSHOCK 4 USB wireless adaptor for Mac or PC and call it a day. The same adaptor costs $16.99 and you shouldn’t pay a dime more than that unless you’re really desparate.
Enjoy Your Games
At least one of the troubleshooting tips mentioned above should help to resolve whatever was causing your computer not to detect your PS4 controller. Now you can go ahead to enjoy your favorite Windows game.
Next up: Are you unable to project or mirror content from your PC because Windows isn’t detecting your external monitor or TV? Check out the solutions in this guide to fix that.
Last updated on 07 February, 2022
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